PCs: Valorean (Yours truly), Faenoa, Tenfol’at, Cober, Bardy, Eight.
We were informed of a potential way into the forest of thorns, according to the following message:
“Follow a trail to the west of the main road. Find a rectangular stone pillar that has the word ‘Ally’ in inscribed in Aquan. Tap each face of the pillar twice. Follow the tunnel. Bring light.”
This shortcut would be counter intuitive, given this stone is west of the forest of thorns, by the mouth of the Rootmore river to the North, which feeds into the Lake of Songs.
Apparently when we found this stone it spoke of sacrifices after we pressed each side like instructed. Password change?
“Ally: Smuggle the sacrifices from the forest. All sacrifices must be drowned before being provided as fuel for the __.”
After some back and forth, Faenoa prickled her finger with her short sword and wrote “KRAKEN” in Aquan, this produced tunnel, which we decided to ignore to go explore a temple nearby, no more than 6 miles away, which the Gnome claimed was clean and available to loot.
This appeared to be where the sacrifices from the forest were brought to be drowned by the Deep Ones.
We found some precious stones on a corpse.
With the shinnies, we made our way into the ominous cave system, said to be used by Drow. No light-sources were found within, but we carried our own. We sent Cober’s skeletons first with their own light.
Inside after a few bends, we found the corpse of a dwarf, with a note:
“The air down here is so damp and bloody dusty. It seems the tunnels were made by creatures from the depths called the Deep Ones. That explains the puddles in a few of the tunnels. I keep hearing scuttling in the dark… I hope this food smuggling job to Sal Nalore is worth the pay…”
We were soon met by half a dozen monstrous snakes with bone-scythes, a bulging head, natural armor and they looked to be Hasted, coming out a pool of water.
Cober Banished a couple of them. Faenoa began attacking the ones more or less her size while the white-robed skeletons dealt with the big armored (what I know to be now) sliver.
Eight managed to somehow bash the soft bits inside the one with the natural chitin plates, then dislocated it’s claw.
I finished off the hasted one, and a smaller one with TenfolL’at.
Then Cober sprung the other two from their dimensional prison so we could deal with them separately, after we were done with the other ones.
After we dealt with them, we perused the pool from which they appeared, it was deeper than it looked, had several humanoid bones there and a couple of sliver eggs, one hatched before us and we knocked the creature unconscious and and faenoa tied it up in a knot she called the ‘shibari’. I’ll ask her how to do it later. Anyhow, the others were keen on eating the other egg.
At any rate, we crossed the pond to delve further into the cave, discovering another pool of water. Faenoa fearlessly dove into the water without any prompt, like she had caught the whiff of cookies. She just found more bodies, with a sack attached to them. It was filled with potatoes.
Heading north and then west again, we found a third pool. Faenoa dipped into it after loudly yelling if there were any Slivers there. More bodies, well a skeleton finely dressed and in chains, and another bag, filled with precious stones, coins, a couple of bottles of booze, and a scroll which Cober quickly identified as a flaming sphere scroll. Also another note.
This smuggling ring isn’t worth the money anymore! Those Drow are ungrateful pricks, and the slaves aren’t good quality anyways. I’m getting out of here before those confounded slivers get me and the last of my merchandise… -Torbin the Baron
I’ve never seen someone more willing to dive into corpse water than this gnome. At least she does demands to be cleaned up by Cober’s Prestidigitations afterwards.
Anyhow, according to Cober, this Torbin used to run a smuggling ring, and he promptly disappeared, makes sense since we found his remains. The magic users collected the bones for their potential minions.
Eventually we found a couple of Cloakers which addressed us in Undercommon, then Faenoa, Eight and Bardy negotiated with the things for food for safe passage. They also informed us of the two nests they have in the cave, hence why they’re collecting food. They also informed us that further north is a sliver queen. They also informed us that they compete with territory with the slivers.
The deal with the Cloakers involved 2 rations from Faenoa, and the promise of the monstrosities not to eat anybody who was within their territory and wore the armbands, or were with folk with them.
Knowing that she would eventually fight the sliver’s momma, Faenoa put the sliver she was carrying the whole time out of it’s misery.
Moving further up, Eight’s keen eyes noticed some sort of magical trap distorting the Weave, and Cober managed to Dispel it. Maybe the Queen could use magic? Maybe that was something to keep her at bay? We would find out promptly.
We indeed irrupted into the chamber of the Sliver Queen, and a minute later we had slain everything in the room. She could hatch sliver eggs in moments.
Moving further north, we emerged into the Forest of Thorns. Making camp for the night, we awoke with fresh tracks going Westward, and decided to follow them for a while. We encountered a few Drow there. Their leader, Silvers, were talking about ranks.
We were given a note which denoted their ranks:
Rank 0: Drow Elites;
Rank 1: regular Drow;
Rank 2: Elves, Half-Elves;
Rank 3: Humans, and other races that look like elves. Such as Gnomes, Halflings, Genasi, Aasimar
Rank 4: Monster races like Goblins, hobgoblins, yuan-ti, bugbears, orcs, half-orcs, etc;
Rank 5: Dwarves, Tabaxi, Lizardfolk, Tiefling, Dragonborn and other races that do not look like elves.
Will only talk seriously about diplomacy when there is at least one person belonging to a race that is rank 3 or above.
There was also a Monk of the Monastery of the Rushing Stream, called Rina, located East of Ruined Oak. Rina talked about a legend concerning a mythical Celestial beast called a Kirin, which if awakened it could clear the weather toward the Jub Jubs and she was here in order to seek it out.
We were told that the town called Sal Nalore, whom’s elite serve Lolth and Silvers defected from there. We also learned from Rina that she proved her mettle with ritual combat.
Eight tried to convince me to participate in the combat but it didn’t felt right to earn friendship through violence. So Eight partook and managed to smack Silvers three times in short order while deftly dodging Silvers’ strikes. With that we were welcomed as guests in the Forest of Thorns by them.
Silvers also marked in our map a location for their camp: the Moonbrook alliance, located East and North-East from the exit of the tunnel.
With contact made with this civilization, we decided to head back in order to share our findings with the rest of the expedition.